Brannon Braga Signs On As Showrunner For Spielberg Time Travel/Dinosaur Series

It looks like veteran Star Trek writer/producer Brannon Braga is returning to the world of time travel, but this time he is trading in starships for dinosaurs. A new report says that Braga has joined the Steven Spielberg produced prehistoric show Terra Nova.


Braga-saurus headed back in time

Steven Spielberg has been developing a new TV series at Fox about a family from 100 years in the future that travels back in time 150 million years to a prehistoric Earth ruled by dinosaurs. Now Deadline Hollywood is reporting that Brannon Braga (who recently inked a long term deal at Fox) has signed on as executive producer and showrunner for Terra Nova, which has also been given a 13 episode order.

This will be Braga’s first time as a showrunner since Threshold, the CBS sci-fi show that ran for one season in 2005-2006. Before that Braga had been a showrunner for both Star Trek Voyager and Star Trek Enterprise, where he often delved into time travel. More recently he has been a writer/producer for Fox’s 24, which is in its final season. In addition, Braga co-created ABC’s FlashForward, which also has a time-travel theme.

This will not be Braga’s first time dealing with dinosaurs. Braga co-wrote (with Joe Menosky) one of Star Trek Voyager’s better episodes, "Distant Origin",  which posited the notion that a race of intelligent dinosaurs left Earth in the distant past.

Shot from Voyager’s "Distant Origin", co-written by Brannon Braga

And it looks like Braga already has his leading man for Terra Nova. Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights) has been made an offer to star.

Brannon thanks fans for feedback – on both ‘good ones’ and ‘stinkers’

Last month we reported on Braga’s new deal at Fox, and that article created the usual outpouring of fan feedback. As Star Trek’s most prolific writer, there is much to comment on about his time with the franchise, and comments often run the spectrum from high praise to blistering critiques. Brannon Braga himself also joined in the feedback, acknowledging both ends.

If you missed it, here are some of his comments:

Brannon here. Always fascinating to read all of your comments, good and bad. This is a superb website, and one of the best for fan feedback. To the haters: your comments are welcome and observed and never disregarded (no matter how brutal). To the lovers: loving you back. I’m not making television just for me, or a studio, but for you you guys too. Really it is for you, because if you ain’t watching, then what’s the point? I guess I’m saying thanks for even taking the time to even comment on this story.

– b.

Wow. Great comments. Thank you for taking the time. Yes, you’re right: I wrote some raging stinkers, and perhaps some good ones too. But over the course of 14 years, I guess that’s to be expected. Wish they could all have been top-notch. It wasn’t for a lack of trying. Never once did I set out to write or co-write a lazy or crappy episode of Trek. I was passionate about the show, the franchise, Gene’s remarkable vision, and I always worked my ass off to put out the very best. But they don’t always turn out that way. For that, my humble apologies. Trek is in great hands now. I look forward to more of it with the rest of you…

– Brannon


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New show idea sounds interesting.

I will definitely give it a chance before passing judgement.

OTOH, last few episodes of 24 have been amazing.

Despite most opinions – I quite liked Brannon as a writer. As an aspiring (though sturggling) writer myself, I look up to guys like him, Ron Moore, Alan Ball, David Chase ect as big in spirations of mine. He wrote not only some of the best Trek but, more importantly to me, MY Trek in the 90’s.

So thank you Mr Braga for being one of the guys who introduced me to Star Trek and the whole Trek-Verse to which has been an awesome inspiration for me :)

* and noticing my lazy spelling mistakes, that indicates to me why I am a struggling writer and not a professional writer lol

Sounds cool.

Jurrassic Park or Land of the Lost.

What will we get? Not sure what to expect with that pairing…

Pilot episode title. . .”Threshold”

Synopsis. Main character travels into Earth’s distant past in search of his tongue.

Sound like it could be good. I’ll definitely be checking it out.

Congrats to you Brannon! I hope it is a success for you.

Congrats to Brannon. This series sounds very interesting and I’m really looking forward to it.

No way to know how this will turn out, but, as I like Braga, I’ll check it out when it happens.

Interesting that Brannon’s going back to his roots of time-related stories or “past stories” that he liked to tell in Trek. Very Interesting. Maybe he can give it a new take.

why not do a series on 7 of 9?

How about a company that makes robotic 7 of 9s for sale to guys like me!

No time travel needed!

I have a great deal of respect for any person willing to accept responsibility for a mistake and takes strides to learn and grow. I appreciate Mr. Braga’s candor and humility. I look forward to his future projects. I would also like to say the Flash Forward is currently my favorite show on TV. Great work.


I would submit that Braga didn’t make mistakes. He may have learned lessons but to imply that what he did with Star Trek or with stories he had written would be to say that it was an accident. He, Ron Moore, all the team involved in all of the incarnations of Trek, even Rick Berman are not figures to be hated and who set out to intentionally do evil to the Trek legacy. If one didn’t like it, so be it. But let’s try to move on from the hate for the individuals (Of course I am not talking about you greenusmarine) who produced a show and start to try and enjoy a great and vast legacy of stories. Or just ignore the stuff we don’t like.

But the hate and vitriol is ridiculous.

While I respect Braga for getting the opportunity to make a career out of what he loves doing, and I am aware that not everything a person makes can be a perfect work of art, it’s dis-heartening to see him again go back to his safety zone. I can only hope for his sake as a writer that should always try to keep challenging himself that there’s only time travel in the first episode to start off the episode, and the rest of the show is firmly left in the period of the dinosaurs. For if a lot of time traveling there will be, avoiding the show, will be me.

He seems like a good guy I just think that he wasn’t well suited for trek and tried to over extend himself far too much between DS9 Voyager and the show that should have never happened Enterprise.

and I blame Rick berman far more than him. best of luck to you in your future writing endeavors

I for one love all Star Trek, though I will admit Voyager took the longest to grow on me. Braga wrote some of the best episodes (“Distant Origin” was one of the best of Voyager) and yes, he wrote some Edsels too (the much maligned “Threshold”).

I think sometimes the blame for some of the missteps falls at Paramount’s feet more so than Berman’s, Braga’s and Moores. If you ever get the chance, watch some of the commentaries for the DVD’s of the various series. Some of it is eye opening. Sometimes the studio bosses say to do something, and either you do it, or they will replace you. I agree with 14. Rick Berman and co. were not sent here to destroy Star Trek. Watching Berman when he talks on the commentaries, I always felt he had a love for the work he did. I believe he wanted to make quality shows, what producer wouldn’t. I don’t think Berman got up in the morning and said “Gee, how can I rape Star Trek today.” In fact, call me an apostate, but I enjoyed the shows and movies he helped create.

Thanks Brannon Braga for some great Star Trek. And thanks to everyone who has kept Star Trek going for the last 44+ years. Including Abrams for breathing new life, and to the authors of the novels for keeping the other series going too. It’s nice to have my cake and eat it too.

I’m not a fan of most of the Braga / Berman Trek, but good luck on the new venture, Brannon.

Best of luck Mr. Braga-us scifi fans will be watching–i dont think anyone needs to apologize-Brannon was there during treks most prolific time-thanx to gene r for reimagining the franchise n writers like braga n berman et al who carried on the legacy as best they could–i think they did mostly great work-its not their fault the studios wanted more successes n pushed them all harder–frankly i wish we had more trek on tv like then-1 or 2 series anyway–Lastly i dont think this series will be in brannons comfort zone-it sounds like it uses time travel to start the story but i doubt with a premise like that, that there will be any temporal cold wars or time travel cops—sounds more like a dinosaur adventure series sorta lost in space meets jurassic pk/primeval—anywhoo congrats brannon sir—take care


very well said!

“I think sometimes the blame for some of the missteps falls at Paramount’s feet more so than Berman’s, Braga’s and Moores. If you ever get the chance, watch some of the commentaries for the DVD’s of the various series. Some of it is eye opening. Sometimes the studio bosses say to do something, and either you do it, or they will replace you”

17. with something like that you have to put your foot down and damn the consequences if its that key to the story of the film.

However with those very same studio heads we had 4 good films 1 alright one and one that sucked, till the berman era of films started where 1 was decent and the other three were just downright terrible.

and two tv shows that shaped up and became really good throughout seasons 2 – 6 and got sort of iffy around 7, TNG and DS9

Voyager and Enterprise while they had there moments were generic boring and sometimes downright idiotic about 80 to 95% most of the time

I mean here’s a simple test:

How many episodes of TNG and DS9 can you remember being good compaired to Voyager and Enterprise?

and dont forget it was Rick who fired they Ron Jones for doing his job too well and not being bland enough not the studio.

In conclusion To me it seems like its not the studios fauIt.

I mean after all the studio did not say hey Berman and Braga give us a pilot where the captain just for the hell of it strands a crew of 400 + people 70,000 light years away from home in the delta quadrant

You know, in the past, I’ve been quite vocal regarding my dissatisfaction over the direction of Star Trek: Voyager– most notably pertaining to the Borg; much of that blame was placed at the feet of Brannon Braga. However, Mr. Braga has shown a remarkable humility, gracious even when owning up to his culpability. I respect him all the more now and wish him continued success in his future endeavors.

Sounds like “Time Family Robinson”

Interesting; cashing in on the success of Primeval? Isn’t that getting a US release?

I don’t much remember what Brannon wrote for Star Trek since I didn’t find the TOS spawn so interesting (while TOS never gets old to me), but any fella that comes to a joint like this to check the sayin about his work has to have a fair supply of coolness, and so, deserves an equal amount of respect.

Brannon: I like Flash Forward a bunch, so please respect the story and end it when there’s really nothing left to say. Don’t follow Heroes down that same hole to nowhere in particular.

And Brannon, if you know Joss Whedon, would you please tell him to quit screwing around and get Firefly back on the air? I’d appreciate it.

Good for Braga. He deserves it.

#21: “I mean after all the studio did not say hey Berman and Braga give us a pilot where the captain just for the hell of it strands a crew of 400 + people 70,000 light years away from home in the delta quadrant”

In fact, you have not the slightest idea what the studio did and did not dictate, suggest or reject with regard to such things.

Yes but I’m certain they didn’t say make Janeway just for the hell of it strand them out in the delta quadrant

and I personally think they gave them alot of creative control, Hell the very existence of “In The Pale Moonlight” proves that in my mind.

I do know of one instance that does support this

In the beginning of Voyager the studio did complain about
the monotonous prison esque color scheme of the Voyager sets and nothing changed whatsoever despite there complaint and the enterprise sets were even worse.

Also with a few simple mods to the script it would have been a far better start for Voyager

Make Tom Paris come to Janeway on DS9 dont go to him on a two way trip that’ll take days to go either way so that if he rejects she already has another person lined up rather than tieing up her and her mission for days.

remove Harry Kim from the show right off the bat, remove nelix and have kess take over his role

Make it so it said they were 140,000 light years in the delta quadrant and that they activate the array, it fails midway stranding them 70,000 light years in

rather than blowing it up so the Kazon can’t use it even thought they can’t even handle the standard replicator technology without damaging their ship

wait a minute…
didnt you already do a terra nova? im pretty sure you wrote it too.

well this one should be easy then ;)

…..Marshall, Will & Holly… on a routine time travel expedition… then the greatest earthquake ever known…….

Terra Nova still sounds like it might be good. Just don’t stick Will Ferrell in it, K?

Not a huge fan of Braga’s writing but I give him props for handling his detractors with a lot of class. I think he’s been the target of a lot of vitriol that I don’t think is called for or deserved — so, kudos to him for rising above the fray.

“Trek is in great hands now.”

No, it’s not.

Thanks for the warning.

Flash Forward is dead then? Seems like everyone is jumping ship.

With Voyager, Paramount insisted on a new show for UPN. Berman had wanted Deep Space Nine to go on it’s own for a while and it is no secret that the producers were given little choice. You seem to indicate that had Berman & co, simple put there foot down, the studio would just simple tuck its tail between its legs and left then alone. They would have simply replaced him with someone who would do as they asked. My guess is the producers felt that Star Trek was better off if they did what they were asked. That’s not to say Berman (et al) is blameless for some of the missteps, but I think sometimes we need to keep everything in perspective. At the end of the day Paramount owns Star Trek. Not Berman when he was the executive, and not Abrams now. They basically serve at Paramount’s (and CBS Studios) pleasure.

I happened to like the premise of Voyager. I always liked the exploration aspect of Star Trek, and every week of Voyager was basically new life and new civilizations. I did have some issues with some of the episodes and some of the acting, but I think the overall premise is sound. And what’s with the hate with the sets. Voyager is a starship, it is supposed to be utilitarian and sterile. Even the Enterprise from the original series had a utilitarian look. The sets from the 2009 movie made me want to cringe, especially the much maligned engine room with looked like Freddy Krueger’s boiler room and had some 4th dimensional issues going on (the inside was 5 times a large as the outside of the ship). That I take issue with (though I did enjoy other aspects of the film such as the acting and the story itself).

Star trek Voyager my favorite tv series.
Janeway is my favorite captain.

Brannon Braga…………..I wish you luck on a new project :)

The new project sounds interesting

Voyager is my favorite star trek show.

Mr. Braga gave us some wonderful scripts, for TNG and the later shows, and for that I appreciate him.

As the writer of “First Contact”, he gave us a mainstream film that was still true to the fans.

As co-creator of Enterprise, he gave us a revitalized premise and a great pilot episode. The fact that the series succeeded as well as it did in its fourth year, with no changes to its fundamental premise, showed that the series concept was sound (if perhaps unrealized in the 2nd season).

For “Voyager”… well, he did give us some of the better episodes, like “Distant Origins,” “Deadlock”, and “Year of Hell”… the guy can write. I think my chief objections was that the characters just never seemed to ‘evolve’ and grow through the course of the series. Character-wise, there was little difference between a Voyager episode of Season 2 to Season 6.

But hey – just one bloke’s opinion. All the best to him in his new role; I’ll be watching!

I wish you good luck Mr. Braga. And I often wonder about people complaining about Time Travel in Star TRek. Last time I checked, The 3 Star Trek Movies that had the Hightest Ratings, all involved Time Travel. How did that happen if it was such a bad thing?

I’m sorry, but the story idea sounds like, “Land of the Lost Redux.”

Regarding the Voyager episode, “Distant Origin,” while I have never seen the episode so I do not know about it in detail, it sounds like it is in someway based on the premise of the Star Trek novel, “First Frontier.”

brannon, I’m so happy you are doing so well, our family loves everything you do. I sure would love to hear from you- from one Mayfair survivor to another.